10. oktober 2014

Outstanding exquisite weapon found by Rødbyhavn

At the archaeological excavations for the future Fehmarn Belt Link, archaeologists from Museum Lolland-Falster have made a unique find in the form of a flint dagger from the Bronze Age (ca. 1700-500 BC).


"A hafted dagger of this type has never been found in Denmark before. We know the type, but to find such an exquisite hafted example is simply fantastic. We were all very excited when the dagger suddenly appeared after the excavator had removed the overlying layer. But when we got it up and saw that parts of a bark handle had been preserved almost intact on the other side, it was impossible to contain our excitement," says Anders Rosendahl, archaeologist at Museum Lolland-Falster, grinning from ear to ear.


At the beginning of the Bronze Age, bronze took over the role as the preferred material for the production of prestige tools, but as demand was greater than supply, daggers were still made of flint in the early part of the Bronze Age. The design of the flint daggers copied the design of bronze daggers, and the flintworkers' excellent skills at shaping flint really came into their own during this period.


The flint dagger was the man's preferred weapon at this time, and it would often follow him into his grave. However, the find from Rødbyhavn was not discovered in a grave, but on an ancient seabed.


It is approx. 20 cm long and made of a dark grey flawless piece of flint. Birch bark would have been mounted around the handle to give it a better grip. However, due to the many thousands of years the dagger has been buried in the ground, the bark is only preserved on the side that faced downwards when the dagger was found. On the day the dagger was found, it was sent directly to the National Museum of Denmark, which will handle conservation of the bark.


Flint daggers with preserved handles have never been found in Denmark before, but they are known from Germany, among other places. However, there is nothing to indicate any link between Denmark and Germany in this connection, as suggested by other finds from the excavations. Museum Lolland-Falster hopes that the conservation and the further investigations of the bark will reveal more about the dagger.


Until then, the museum is enjoying the excitement at the completely amazing find and looks forward to discovering what else the excavations will produce from Lolland's soil.


For questions about the find, please contact: Anders Rosendahl, Archaeologist at Museum Lolland-Falster, on tel. +45 51 85 08 52 or by email aro@museumlollandfalster.dk